Yesterday my band travelled a small run out of London to play at Luton Aid, a 2 day festival held in the Carnival Arts building featuring a mixed bill of humour laden, quick witted acoustic artists alongside hard, heavy and super punky acts. We were live on the Rusty Webb stage at 7.30pm.
The day had a nice feel to it from the off with no other constraints taxing my energy or focus and I felt relaxed upon arrival, we go to Luton often and have a great relationship with some promoters there and have built a clutch of supporters who’ve been to several shows now. We were fortunate to get a decent sound check owing to the layout in the space whereby differing stages were active at alternating times, this let the band get set up and run through a little bit without an audience waiting/watching, which is never ideal but on full all day bills is simply par for the course. We spent time getting good levels with Ellie out front, this is reassuring as an engineer can then be given direction as to our sound not just their perception.
Overall performing felt comfortable, we’d rehearsed the previous night so arrangements seemed fresh, the set was interesting as we’d changed it up from the usual and I found this added focus as well as a sense of intrigue as to how certain songs would fair. We were fortunate to have a great audience who were focused on the music. We came with plenty of energy and played with vibe, interacted with each other, and the audience, it was loose, almost like hanging out, the likelihood of it being Gav the bass player’s birthday added to the fun.
In myself I tend to get over excited, which can cause slips in my delivery, sometimes I over lengthen phrases owing to too much feel, which in truth can sound nice on a guitar line but I feel that I lost some of the sync with my backing vocal parts. I’m going to set a target of being more regimented with that going forward and will practice vocal lines to a click, I’ll aim to be more supporting and blended with the top line and create a complimenting tone. Some areas can be nice to embellish on the guitar, it’s what you get from the ‘liveness’ of a gig but this needs to be choice and not overly done, it can drag and lag behind the groove, sometimes this adds sway and plays with the meter but I think I could be more on the money.
I felt loose, in the good way, was chatty with the audience and band mates, played with high energy and passion. I believe strongly in what we’re doing and that we have a strong offering, we’ve come a long way and through experience can deliver a solid show to an out of town audience with confidence and conviction.
We received great feedback for our efforts, they were dancing, and applauding, cheering and we got lots of really nice and humbling compliments afterwards too. Ultimately we did what we needed to do and gave to those present, and I as well as my band mates are grateful for those that listened, their focus and the journey we shared. An inebriated gent down the front kept friendly-heckling between songs with a barrage of ‘you’ve been too long away!’ which was an ace shout out, I really did like that and we’ll be heading back for more as soon as we can.
Big up to all who organised, promoted and worked on Luton Aid 2017 and the other bands/acts who performed, a great event.